The original poster (OP) wanted to prepare his outdoor area so that he could enjoy it better for the summer. But it resulted in him having an altercation with some neighbors and he is reaching out to the online community to see if he made a mistake.
Many Young Kids are in the Neighborhood
He says many young families are in his neighborhood, with young children, moms with strollers, and dads.
He Wanted to Get Concrete Poured
He wanted to pour a new walkway from the end of their driveway (which terminates in their front yard by the sidewalk) around the house to their backyard, where they have a lovely little garden and gazebo.
He Saw Kids Ruin the Cement
The day he decided to pour the concrete, he saw kids come over to the wet concrete and stuff sticks and rocks into it. He also saw children carve their initials and add their palm prints.
He Was Upset When He Saw Prints
He wasn’t happy that they ruined the sidewalk. So he dug out the debris and then smoothed it over again. He then put up a sign saying, “Please do not disturb, drying.”
A Mother Came and Argued With Him
A mother, whom he is usually friendly with and often walks their dogs alongside each other, said that he was a “mean old curmudgeon” who was “ruining precious childhood memories for the kids.” The mom says the kids may have wanted to go back and look at their initials and palm prints one day and “reminisce.
He Was Surprised How the Neighbors Reacted
He didn’t see who it was, but another parent took down his sign. He noticed it the next day lying in his yard by the birdbath, far away from where he had placed it. He is confused at the neighborhood’s reaction when this is his private property, and they aren’t his kids.
Should He Have Left the Sidewalk Alone?
He is reaching out to ask if he should have just let the children ruin his sidewalk to keep the neighbors happy.
The Readers Respond
Several readers felt that the parents in the community, especially the mom, are acting entitled.
“Tell the Mom in question that vandalizing other people’s property isn’t “making memories,” and there are plenty of plaster mold sets she can buy for that purpose. Ask her if you can spray graffiti all over the front of her house and require her to keep it so you can revisit old memories later.”
Get a Security Camera
Some readers advised that he get a camera in case they try to do more damage than just remove his sign.
“Those people sound delusional and entitled. It’s your private property, and well within your rights to not be ok with kids messing up your work. Maybe look into getting a camera in case they decide to do more than just put a sign in your birdbath.”
What are Parents Teaching Their Kids?
Many also questioned what lesson they are teaching their children by behaving this way.
“And what is this teaching the kids? That it’s ok to mess up someone’s hard work. They want the memories, make them at home. Hell, buy a scrapbook.”
“The law calls it vandalism.”
It’s Private Property
Having hand/paw prints and names drawn into wet cement is a privilege only the people and pets living in the house get. If that mom wants to make some precious memories like that for her kids, she can dump some wet cement on her own property. Does she expect OP to let her kids come mark their heights on one of his door frames too?”
It Can Ruin the Concrete
One reader thoroughly explained how this type of activity can actually ruin the concrete.
- Concrete setting is an exothermic reaction (generates heat). This is why temperature controls are important when laying foundations because depending on the volume/type of concrete you can actually spoil it so it has to be redone (seriously, don’t order or lay concrete on a hot summer day)
- Even if it didn’t by writing in it/introducing foreign objects, the longevity is affected. By having raised/lowered parts, they erode faster, and those sticks/leaves will break/wash away much faster, leaving holes/divots.
She Regifted a Puppy Her Kids Had for a Week Because Her Family Friend’s Dog Died. Is She a Mean Mom for Giving the Dog Away or Was it a Good Deed?
A mom is reaching out to an online community to ask if she made a mistake. She recently brought home a chihuahua mix puppy for her family, which she received from a work friend.
His Former Classmate Called Him Out for Refusing to Donate to His High School Bully’s Cancer Treatment. Should He Let Go of the Past and Help Him?
The original poster (OP) is reaching out to the online community for advice after being shunned by a group of people.
She Refused to Allow Her Best Friend’s Daughter Keep Her Craft Supplies She Brought Over to Play with While Babysitting. Now Mom and Daughter are Upset. Was She Wrong to Bring Them?
The original poster (OP) calls herself ‘the cool aunt’ to her best friend’s daughter, 6-year-old Ella. Although she doesn’t see Ella too often, when she does, she brings her small gifts and activities that will interest her and keep her occupied. But this time, it wasn’t as fun as she thought it would be.
She Took a Stand and Cancelled Her Mother-in-Law’s Cell Phone Plan She and Her Husband Were Paying For Because Her Nephew Was Using It. Her Husband’s Family is Furious With Her. Was She Wrong?
The original poster (OP) and her husband are in their 20s with no children. OP first starts her story by saying that her husband’s family is angry with her, and she feels like she is being gaslighted by them.
He Left the Vacation Early Because His Girlfriend Pranked and Humiliated Him In Front of Her Family and Friends. Is He Being Too Sensitive?
He has been with his girlfriend for eight months. Things were going well between them but a problem arose and he is reaching out to the online community to see if he might be overreacting.